Aseptic technique: how do we achieve best practice across diverse settings?

The RCN wants your views on shaping a core skill in the absence of evidence
Catheter preparation

The RCN wants your views on shaping a core skill in the absence of evidence

Regardless of the evolution of nursing practice, some processes and skills remain fundamental to nurses’ competence to deliver person-centred care.

The ability to perform or undertake aseptic technique is one of these, alongside clinical observations, hand hygiene, medicines management and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The roots of modern-day aseptic technique lie in the development of asepsis in surgery, with environmental control used to reduce the risk of contamination of the exposed wound. Pasteur’s germ theory, which supplanted the belief that foul-smelling air (miasma) spread disease and caused infection, was eventually applied in nursing practice and extended beyond the operating theatre to all care settings and situations.

A surprising lack of evidence base

The acceptance of germ theory by leaders


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